The year was 2001. It was not a good time to be a Dallas Cowboys fan.
Troy Aikman was released and then retired before that season began. The Cowboys tried four different starting quarterbacks, including Ryan Leaf. Overmatched Dave Campo was the head coach. The team went 5- 11.
It also was the last time the Cowboys were this big of home underdogs. Face rested New England without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant and it’s understandable that the Patriots are eight-point favorites against the Cowboys.
Not only are the Patriots unbeaten, but they are ranked No. 1 in points at 39.7 per game and yardage averaging 446.3. It didn’t escape the notice of oddsmakers that Tom Brady was throwing passes well into the fourth quarter of a 51-17 waltz against Jacksonville during the Patriots’ previous game.
Bill Belichick isn’t adverse to running up a score. Just ask Buffalo and Jacksonville.
Raiders, Titans Join Cowboys as Home Underdogs
Oakland and Tennessee are two other home ‘dogs on the Week 5 NFL card. This is a good test to see exactly how improved the Raiders and Titans really are.
The Raiders were plus 5 1/2 hosting unbeaten Denver. This line represents progress for the Raiders. During the three previous seasons when Dennis Allen was their coach, the Raiders were double-digit underdogs at home each year.
It should be noted, though, the Raiders have lost to the Broncos by at least 13 points during each of their last seven meetings.
The Titans are plus three against Buffalo, which owns impressive victories against Indianapolis and Miami but lost this past week to the New York Giants. The Titans were idle last week. They are 2-1 against the spread (ATS).
browns are seeking a payout against the ravens
Baltimore is a 6 1/2-point home favorite versus Cleveland. The Ravens have won the last seven times hosting the Browns. Cleveland, however, owns a 4-3 ATS edge in those games.
Given that none of the last three Browns coaches have lasted more than two years, Cleveland second-year head man Mike Pettine could be gone before or after this season. One thing you can say about Pettine is the Browns are 6-0 ATS when taking five or more points.